Book Review: “Faith in the Voting Booth: Practical Wisdom for Voting Well”
Reviewed by Sarah Wilson, The Grounds Bookstore & Cafe staff
With the November election approaching, our responsibility as American citizens has been tasked with choosing between two of the most distrusted and disliked candidates historically to date. Among all the articles being covered by multiple sources, each hitting different points, along with the constant release of new polls, we can be left in a whirlwind of things to sort out. Not to mention frustrating campaign ads. How should one vote? “Faith in the Voting Booth” by leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) Leith Anderson and Galen Carey really came at an opportune time for us all. (It’s important to know that the NAE doesn’t endorse candidates or align itself with a political party; it simply represents the evangelical Christians of our nation.)
This is the first election I’ll be casting my vote as a Christian. Since I value my relationship with Christ, I must consider His will and His desires for the next leader of our country. So, how do I determine what His will is? Knowing His Spirit definitely helps, as does reading Scripture (2 Tim. 3:15-16) and engaging in constant prayer (James 1:5). He’ll certainly do His part, but what am I responsible for?
The first step, according to “Faith in the Voting Booth”, is to research. And not just by reading credible articles or interviews with the candidates – which is a wise thing to do – but to go deeper. Anderson and Carey write, “Keep asking questions… and research the answers as if God is going to give you a quiz”. They also stress not to rely on a single source as there can be an abundance of false or heavily slanted information out there. In an attempt to better understand each candidate without bias, I have read “Hard Choices” by Hillary Clinton and “The Art of The Deal” by Donald Trump, each proving very insightful. Doing this allowed me to have quite a bit of my questions answered by the individuals themselves (even if the books were filtered by teams of editors).
I’ve been wondering if the uncertainty of a final decision will fade away. What Andersen and Carey recommend doing is to privately choose who to vote for. Keep this decision to yourself, as to not be further influenced by anyone other than Christ. Pray daily for God to confirm your decision or not. By allowing yourself the opportunity to live with your choice for at least a week, you will be able to settle into being convinced and comfortable, or unconvinced and uncomfortable with your selection. If by the end of your allotted time, you’re still unconvinced with your decision, start from the top. Do further research, pray, and seek counsel from those you turn to with any other decision or struggle you may have in life. Then dedicate another slot of time privately to prayer.
Their last step is to follow up. “We live out our Christian values regardless of who wins or loses. We share these values with others, including those who are not Christians.” We have to remember what we have in this country. There are people in this world who have absolutely no voice. The wonderful opportunity to vote according to our own beliefs or religious convictions and loyalties would be unheard of in other countries. This freedom is a reality for us and should in no way be dismissed or taken lightly.
What I really appreciated about this book was that it is free of any kind of bashing, and it manages to remain nonpartisan. Anderson and Carey didn’t deviate from Scripture or biblical emphasis, and they remained respectful and fair when discussing differences in beliefs and hot topics like abortion, taxes, foreign policy and marriage. While they didn’t get too in depth with these subjects, they did do a helpful job of offering a thorough synopsis accompanied with bullet points and Scripture.
“Faith in the Voting Booth” is worth reading if you want to figure out for yourself who to vote for rather than have someone else decide for you. Your vote is your own personal right and doesn’t belong to anyone else. This book breaks down how to decide for yourself for not only this election, but future ones as well.
Anderson, Leith, and Galen Cary. “Faith in the Voting Booth: Practical Wisdom for Voting Well.”